Vitamin B12 keeps those red blood cells coursing through the body! B12 helps them keep their round shape so they can freely move from the bone marrow to the bloodstream at a steady and appropriate rate, but these are only a few of the health benefits of vitamin B12.
If the blood cells gain some weight, increase in size, sometimes causing them to look more oval, then moving from bone marrow to bloodstream becomes more difficult and slows down, causing a deficiency. This can lead to a physical condition called Megaloblastic Anemia.
Anemia is a scary world. It means your body doesn’t have enough of those healthy red blood cells carrying oxygen to your vital organs, like the brain! So if memory and fatigue become an issue, this could be the cause. Being low on B12 can lead to conditions like Osteoporosis as well. We usually hear more about Osteoporosis in women but it does happen to men as well. So watch for broken bones that happen too easily as well. Take note that B12 won’t improve your mood if you aren’t already on the low end of the levels required. But if you are and are experiencing lulls in your mood, then it’s worth a try.
Poor memory performance is another factor of low B12. Supplementing B12 coupled with Omega 3 Fatty Acids may help prevent memory loss or dementia and even if the process has already started it can serve to slow the decline which is very helpful to these patients in the long run. Adding any amount of time to a life where you are cognizant and functioning is a plus.
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Hair, skin and nail support is another plus of Vitamin B12. Low B12 levels can result in hyperpigmentation or vitiligo (those white intermittent patches that look like bleached areas of skin), discoloration of nails and changes to the hair. However, if you are eating properly this should not be an issue. It’s the extreme low that can contribute to these ailments.
How do I know if I’m B-12 Deficient??
Vitamin B12 Deficiency is more common in older people, i.e. above the age of 60. But you can have your levels checked at any age to ensure you are supplementing and eating properly. In addition, there are various health conditions that may make you more susceptible. They are:
Gastrointestinal disorders like Chron’s Disease or Celiac Disease
Anyone that has had a Gastrointestinal surgery such as Gastric Bypass or Bowel Resection
Type 2 Diabetics taking Metformin to control blood sugar.
People suffering from chronic heartburn that take Proton Pump Inhibitors
People that follow a strict Vegan diet because B12 is found in animal fat.
B12 is important for many reasons and most people are able to get enough B12 through their diet as long as it is varied and sensible. However, running low isn’t the end of the world. You can take supplements or, for a quick pick-me-up, HEALOR offers B12 injections!